Understanding trends is important for marketers, of course. And that applies to every trend – including confusing, generationally segmented trends, like VSCO girls. What’s there to know about it? Lots. And brands that are using social listening to understand this viral group are cashing in this holiday season. Here’s how you can too!
The More Things Change . . .
VSCO girls appear to be today’s version of the 80s Valley Girls. And it makes most people over 30 feel old.
It started as a trend on Instagram and TikTok, with Gen Z girls using the VSCO photo editing app to create their pics. And they developed a certain style over time – and a following from other girls seeking to emulate the “cool girl not embarrassed to tell you all about it” persona.
They have a certain style (one we’ll get to in a moment) and their own language, as can be expected – though their “sksksksk” catch phrase is mostly just a confusing blur of syllables.
But, most importantly for brands, VSCO girls and their apparently deep-pocketed parents, are in love with very specific things:
And they love, love, love telling you all about the brands that help them live their best VSCO girl lives.
Living In a Material World
These girls are in love with brands, in general. This generation of teens seems bent toward embracing consumerism, which is very different from their ‘experience as paramount’ millennial forbears.
“[T]eens are used to ‘branding themselves’ — or showcasing their personality through social media presences — and want to see the same from the brands they wear.
‘The concept of brand is interesting in the social media generation, especially looking at Gen Z, when you think about the fact that they’re totally comfortable with the idea of branding themselves in social media,’ Jacobs said. ‘They’re returning to valuing brands because they appreciate what they stand for, that people recognize them, that they look the same over a certain period of time. The power of brands resonates with consumers because they are forced now to brand themselves.’”
And overwhelmingly, the VSCO girl is wanting to look just like other VSCO girls. The look is very specific and conforming.
It’s almost jarring to take in, considering the overwhelming online push these past years toward individuality and being uniquely yourself.
Consumerism With a Twist
But this isn’t typical consumerism – it’s consumerism for a cause, as they’re also very issue conscious as part of their larger Gen Z group. And this is a group to which they also conform. VSCO girls want and expect brands they love to be sustainability minded, hence the reusable straws and hydroflasks.
And as you can guess – any brand that can make it on the VSCO girls’ shortlist this holiday season will certainly see an uplift in sales.
What does that shortlist include?
Well, their interests are varied and very openly offered online. So, there’s publicly available intel out there ripe for any brand’s taking, assuming they have social analytics capable of capturing and analyzing this data for them:
Imagine the first brand to sort out VSCO pet accessories? You know they must all have pets, right? Or soon will if the right VSCO influencers make it so.
Short of sorting out a new VSCO “it” item though, how does one get on said “shortlist?” By understanding what makes these consumers (and parent purchasers) tick.
Social Sentiment Surrounding VSCO Girls
Beyond a focus on the branded items and being cause-minded, what should brands know about this audience if they hope to market to them?
They’re very active online – possibly the most active segment ever. And they love watching videos of each other on YouTube, Musical.ly, VSCO and Instagram.
Many of them have dreams of becoming the next Emma Chamberlain. She’s often referred to as the “original VSCO girl” and her YouTube channel is well-known by any girl watching this trend, as is her Instagram. She was just a regular girl who shot to fame via conversational videos about her pretty ordinary (and now extraordinary) life:
So, connecting with any of these girls on their personal (and typically public) channels, any with moderately engaged followings that is, can be a coup for brands. And you can find them with influencer identification analyses in NetBase.
There are girls of every age, spanning many ethnicities and hailing from a number of countries.
And they’re all absolutely obsessed with this trend:
They speak and their friends listen. And then they pester their parents about the “must have” brands they just discovered.
And, even better? They love malls. So, your in-store promotions are relevant to this crowd as well. So very relevant. And all the better if your store offers some sort of attraction – or just option – for VSCO girls (and boys) to take photos in front of:
These kids aren’t your audience, you say? Well, how about their parents?
VSCO Adults are Everywhere Now Too
Although parents and other consumer segment enjoy teasing VSCO girls about their look . . .
it seems they secretly love the style:
Going out of their way to live the life and genuinely enjoy the experience.
You can be sure that the actual VSCO girls will move on from this trend soon enough, but their 80s loving moms will take it over. And the demographics around who is talking about VSCO the most is supports this theory:
This gives it staying power. And offers exceptional potential for brands with the foresight to dig in, understand this neglected segment and market to them ahead of competitors. Carmex is paying attention – shouldn’t you?
Extending that segment search beyond the demographics – and themes – you expect is something next generation AI-powered social analytics is made for. Marketing VSCO looks to these many, many VSCO moms, millennials and even VSCO boys can help a brand in inhabiting relevant categories pull out ahead this holiday season.
Contact us for a demo and we can help you explore this and other trends ahead of holiday sales – and help your brand win big as your wrap up Q4!